Thursday, July 15, 2010

Restraining elephants

Restraining elephants is a difficult problem, but one that was solved ages ago. When the elephants are still very small, their handlers tie them up with a heavy rope. They struggle against the rope for hours unable to break free. Eventually, the baby elephant gives up and the fight is over. They accept that they are too weak to break the rope and never challenge the belief again even once they become 8,000 pound giants. Their handlers are then able to tie them up with a rope for the rest of their lives. One that as adults they could easily snap. However, the imprinted belief they hold about their strength won’t let them test the rope that holds them back.

via: How We Underestimate Our Financial Strength

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